Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis open access


Computer Science


This thesis presents a specific method for simulating realistic spine motion through the use of traditional rig control objects. The spine's motion and flexibility is based on a curve as opposed to the more traditional three bone spine. This allows for a more fluid animation more closely resembling that of a spinal column. However, this setup keeps the traditional three control rig setup in order to mimic the control system of a traditional three bone spine. Currently, three bone systems are well understood by animators and the motion is easy to control. The problem with this setup is that although easy to control, these rigs lack the fluid curving motion of a true spine. The proposed method creates a solution to this problem by creating a curve that's length, shape, and twist is based on that of the three traditional bones. This solution allows traditional animators to quickly and effectively begin animating without having to alter the traditional control setup. This thesis describes how this animation pipeline can be set up using commercial software primarily focusing on Softimage XSI. Finally, a program was created using visual basic script that will allow other users to easily integrate the spine into future characters. The program is also based on the idea that the user is accustomed to the three bone spine set-up, and allows the user to create an advanced curve based spine rig by simply drawing the traditional three bone spine.